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Clark, ex-gov Attah, 33 others caution Buhari against termination of amnesty programme in Niger Delta



The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari over the planned termination of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) for former militants in the region.

There were insinuations in the Niger Delta that Buhari had concluded plans to terminate the amnesty programme before the end of his tenure next year.

The late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua launched the programme in 2009 in a bid to stop the militancy in the Niger Delta.

The Federal Government however suspended the termination of the programme last Saturday.

The Interim Administrator of PAP, Maj-Gen Barry Ndiomu (retd), who confirmed the development in a statement, said the president shelved the plan after consultation with the leaders in the Niger Delta.

READ ALSO:Nigerian govt shelves planned termination of amnesty programme

The PANDEF’s warning was contained in an open letter addressed to the president and signed by its National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Obong Victor Attah, National Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien and 32 others in Warri, Delta State.

The group insisted that any attempt to terminate the programme would destabilise the Niger Delta.

The statement read: “Your Excellency, we write this letter to you, with a profound sense of patriotism and good intent for the country, as elders and Leaders of the Niger Delta region.

“Primarily, to state our very grave concerns over the future of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, and, to warn of probable threats to the peace, stability, development of the Niger Delta region, and the economic prosperity of the country.

“We are quite disturbed by recent happenings and media reports, which dominated the public space in the past few weeks, regarding the possible termination of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), possibly before the end of your administration, and the vile silence of your government on the matter.

“Though our attention was drawn to news reports, within the last 48 hours, that ‘the Federal Government has rescinded the plan to terminate the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP)’, it is imperative to note that the rumours of the winding up of the programme and the alleged delisting of about 3,000 beneficiaries have already sparked anxiety in the Niger Delta.”

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